Comparison of risankizumab and apremilast for the treatment of adults with moderate plaque psoriasis eligible for systemic therapy: results from a randomized, open-label, assessor-blinded phase IV study (IMMpulse)

Linda F. Stein Gold*, Jerry Bagel, Stephen K. Tyring, H. Chih Ho Hong, Lev Pavlovsky, Ronald Vender, Andreas Pinter, Adam Reich, Leonidas Drogaris, Tianshuang Wu, Manish Patel, Ahmed M. Soliman, Huzefa Photowala, Vassilis Stakias, Sven Richter, Kim A. Papp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Treatment of psoriasis with risankizumab has demonstrated superior efficacy to other treatments, such as adalimumab, ustekinumab and secukinumab. Objectives: This study compared the efficacy and safety of risankizumab and apremilast in adults with moderate plaque psoriasis eligible for systemic therapy. It also evaluated the efficacy and safety of switching to risankizumab vs. continuing apremilast in patients who did not achieve ≥ 75% improvement in Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI 75 nonresponders) after 16 weeks of treatment with apremilast. Methods: This 52-week, phase IV, multicentre, randomized, open-label, efficacy assessor-blinded study (NCT04908475) enrolled patients (aged ≥ 18 years) with a diagnosis of moderate chronic plaque psoriasis (≥ 6 months) and who were candidates for systemic therapy. The enrolled patients (randomized 1: 2) received subcutaneous risankizumab (150 mg at weeks 0 and 4) or oral apremilast (30 mg twice daily). At week 16, all patients treated with apremilast were re-randomized (1: 1) to risankizumab or apremilast, stratified by week-16 PASI 75 response. The co-primary outcomes in period A at week 16 were the achievement of ≥ 90% improvement in Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI 90) and static Physician's Global Assessment (sPGA) 0/1 with a two-grade or better improvement from baseline. At week 52, the primary endpoint in period B was the achievement of PASI 90 in PASI 75 nonresponders with apremilast at week 16. Safety was monitored throughout the study. All patients who received one dose of treatment were included in the efficacy and safety analysis. Results: At baseline, 118 and 234 patients were assigned to receive risankizumab and apremilast, respectively. At week 16, PASI 90 was achieved by 55.9% [95% confidence interval (CI) 47.0-64.9] and 5.1% (95% CI 2.3-8.0), and sPGA 0/1 by 75.4% (95% CI 67.7-83.2) and 18.4% (95% CI 13.4-23.3), respectively. In period B, among PASI 75 nonresponders with apremilast at week 16, 83 switched to risankizumab and 78 continued apremilast. At week 52, 72.3% (95% CI 62.7-81.9) who switched to risankizumab achieved PASI 90 vs. 2.6% (95% CI 0.0-6.1) who continued apremilast. The most frequent adverse events (reported in ≥ 5%) in risankizumab-treated patients were COVID-19 infection and nasopharyngitis. Diarrhoea, nausea and headache were most frequent among apremilast-treated patients. Conclusions: For patients with moderate psoriasis, treatment with risankizumab demonstrated superior efficacy to those treated with apremilast, including those who did not benefit from prior treatment with apremilast. The safety profile of risankizumab was similar to prior studies, and no new safety signals were identified. These results show that, compared with apremilast, risankizumab treatment can significantly improve clinical outcomes in systemic-eligible patients with moderate psoriasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-552
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Volume189
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Funding

FundersFunder number
AbbVieNCT04908475
AbbVie

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